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LSS240: 2018 Student Guide: Recreation on the Trails

Created by students in LSS240 - Spring 2018

Bike Trail Recreation

Northampton has an extensive and expanding network of rail trails for biking, walking or running. Whether commuting to work or school or navigating through town, trails and greenways provide recreation and transportation opportunities for residents and tourists. Courtesy of Visit Hampshire County, Lynne Graves

Trails to Explore

Map of Northampton Downtown Area Bike Routes and Rail Trails, including Mass Central Rail Trail and New Haven Northampton Canal Line. Courtesy of 

New Haven and Northampton Canal Rail Trail

The Manhan Rail Trailhead. Courtesy of Emeyes i. via 

The trail network includes...

  • New Haven and Northampton Canal Rail Trail, which runs from Northampton to Easthampton (known as the Manhan section) and is planned to extend 90 miles from Northampton to New Haven.
    • New Haven and Northampton: Ct. River Railroad by King Street to Easthampton; this trail runs for 4 miles.
    • Hospital Hill: Earle Street to former Northampton State Hospital; this trail runs for 0.4 miles.
    • Ice Pond: Ice Pond Drive to Florence Road; this trail runs for 0.4 miles.   


Manhan Rail Trail in Easthampton, 2014. Courtesy of TripAdvisor.

MassCentral Rail Trail

Mass Central Rail Trail. Courtesy of TrailLink

  • Mass Central Rail Trail, also known as the Norwottuck Rail Trail, which runs from Belchertown to Leeds (37 miles) and is planned to extend a total of 100 miles all the way to Boston. 
    • MassCentral: Hadley to Ct. River Railroad in Northampton; this trail runs for 0.9 miles. 
    • MassCentral: Ct. River Railroad by King St. to Grove Ave in Leeds; this trail runs for 4.8 miles.
    • MassCentral: Grove Ave to S. Main St. in Haydenville; this trail runs for 0.7 miles.

Friends of Northampton Trails and Greenways

FNTG fosters better public health and quality of life for Northampton’s residents and visitors by enhancing the trail network, conducting activities that sustain and grow the community of users, promoting and empowering public art, and providing educational outreach.

Courtesy of Friends of Northampton Trails + Greenways.


North to East Bike Procession from Northampton to Easthampton organized by FNTG, Manhan Rail Trail Committee, and All Out Adventures. Courtesy of Mayor of Northampton David Narkewicz via Twitter, April 28, 2018. 

Trail Etiquette

  1. Keep right unless passing.
  2. Stop at all stop signs.
  3. Give a clear and audible signal before passing and pass only when it is safe.
  4. Stop and look both ways at road crossings.
  5. Ride or roller blade in single file.
  6. Keep dogs on a leash and pick up waste.
  7. Wear a helmet (state law for bicyclists 16 and under).
  8. Carry in, carry out all trash and belongings.
  9. Respect private property next to the trails.

Norwottuck Rail Trail Bridge, Jess McKnight, 2018


Share with us:

How do you use the rail trails?
Walking for fitness: 1 votes (20%)
Walking with pets/kids: 0 votes (0%)
Running: 0 votes (0%)
Biking: 2 votes (40%)
Cross-country skiing: 0 votes (0%)
Roller blading: 2 votes (40%)
Commuting: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 5